6 Ways Seniors Can Prevent Falls

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From guest columnist Patrick Young http://ableusa.info/

A senior is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. What’s more worrisome, a senior dies from a fall every 19 minutes. While these statistics are scary, there are things you and your family can do to help prevent falls from happening. Ranging from lifestyle changes to home modifications, here are some of the main ways seniors can prevent falls.


Regular exercise helps maintain muscle mass, balance, and flexibility, which, in turn, increases mobility and significantly decreases the risk of falling. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home to help your chances of falling, but fitness classes also come with the benefit of socialization and supervised training.

If you are a Medicare subscriber, you may be eligible for Silver Sneakers, a program that provides access to 13,000 fitness centers across the country. Many Medicare Advantage plans, including those by Humana, offer this perk. If your plan doesn’t cover this, you could consider switching to one that does during the next enrollment period.


Many seniors have a tendency to let their stuff accumulate as time goes by, which often results in a borderline hoarding situation. This is not only unpleasant, but it is also potentially deadly.

Clutter greatly increases the risk of tripping over something, so a big decluttering session is a matter of health as well as aesthetics. Even better, a more minimalist home is also a healthier environment for your lungs and your mental health.

Grab Bars

It may not seem like it, but the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, as water, soap, and smooth porcelain make for a huge slipping hazard. One of the easiest ways to counter this is to install grab bars next to the bathtub, shower, and toilet. A plastic non-slip mat on the bathtub or shower floor can also be a big help.

Non-Slip Flooring

This is an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning. Certain floors are more prone to cause a slip or trip than others, so it’s a good idea to take stock of the flooring in the house. The Spruce recommends softer materials that will somewhat cushion a fall if it does happen, and in particular warns against tile, which is hard, potentially slippery, and easy to trip over.

You should also watch out for rugs on hard floors, which can easily slip or bunch up. Use double-sided carpet tape to keep them in place. Also, any elevated transitions between rooms should be flattened to reduce the odds of tripping.


Poor lighting is a huge fall hazard since it increases the risk of tripping over unobserved objects. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to remedy. Simply make sure that all areas of the house have adequate lighting at all times of day, with particular focus on heavy-traffic areas like hallways. Note that adequate doesn’t necessarily mean bright — you want even, consistent, preferably indirect light, rather than anything with a strong glare.


The link between nutrition and falls may not be obvious, but it is very much there. A lack of appropriate nutrients can make falls more likely by reducing strength and balance, and they can also make a fall more dangerous by making bones more fragile. Furthermore, a lack of Vitamin D has been directly linked to increased fall risk, and a lack of vitamins that help eyesight can cause similar problems when faced with poor lighting.

Making sure seniors are consuming a balanced and nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and taking any necessary vitamin supplements will further protect them from falls.

Prevention is easy and pain-free — treating a fall is not. The above steps have the potential to not only make a senior’s life safer and more comfortable but to outright save it. The best part is that many of them also come with additional mental and physical health benefits, further improving a senior’s quality of life.

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Save Money and Stress on Professional Emergency Home Repairs

This post is from guest contributor: Natalie Jones

Ask any homeowner and they will tell you that emergency home repairs are never fun. Many of the most common urgent home issues require the attention of a professional contractor, which can be costly. Prepare yourself for surprise expenses by using these tips to keep your house and your budget protected.           

Prepare Your Personal Budget for Routine Repairs

Before you even buy a home, you should begin making room in your budget for common household repairs. Do some research online to see what routine home repairs could end up costing you, and be sure to include all project costs in your budget planning. You’re going to have to factor in any fees you need to pay to professional contractors as well as for materials, but you should also consider expenses that can be easy to miss.

For example, to keep your belongings from being damaged by dust, tools, or debris during repairs, you may need to think about putting some items in storage. Currently, the typical cost of a self-storage unit rental in Seattle is $92.97, so you may need to add this to your overall project budget. Keeping breakables and irreplaceable furnishings in storage can prevent added stress and costs for you but can also allow contractors to work at a faster pace with a cleared-out space.

You can get a good feel for the costs of common upgrades with a little homework, but you should also consider setting up an urgent home maintenance fund, with a goal of saving at least one percent of the value of your home for unexpected professional home repairs.

Resolve Home Emergencies Without Extreme Costs

Most home emergencies are going to require the skill and expertise of a contractor, so you have to be ready to pay higher costs than DIY repairs. Broken pipes, faulty wiring, and roof leaks (roof repairs generally run between $300 and $1,100) are all repairs that should be handled by licensed, bonded professionals, but there may be some minor emergencies that can be taken care of by a handyman. Understanding the differences between a contractor and handyman could possibly save you hundreds or thousands on smaller home repairs, such as a broken gate or a clogged toilet.

If you do need to hire a licensed plumber, electrician (typically charge $50 – $100 an hour), or another contractor, you can also keep costs low by knowing how to negotiate the best deal. If your repair isn’t urgent, spend some time getting quotes from a few different contractors and be sure to check out research experience and reviews before settling on a price. In those situations where you need repairs done fast, and when your emergency fund will not cover costs, you also need to figure out some smart funding options. If you have equity built up in your home, you may be able to leverage it to get a small loan, but for new homeowners, credit cards with low-interest rates could be your best bet at getting cash in a hurry.

Take Care of Crucial Home Maintenance Tasks

Responsible homeowners should always be financially prepared to cover emergency professional repairs. If you want to cut down on those repairs and expenses in the first place, however, you should be taking care of routine maintenance year-round. One step many homeowners overlook is disconnecting and preparing their outdoor irrigation systems in the winter. Leaving hoses connected and outdoor spigots exposed can result in costly leaks and breaks in your plumbing, so take care to winterize your pipes before freezing temperatures arrive.

Taking care of regular maintenance can also help you avoid issues with your homeowner’s insurance policy because most policies will not cover repairs or damages that are due to homeowner neglect. To tackle most of the maintenance tasks on your list and keep your insurance valid, keep a set of basic tools around to help you out. Tape, screwdrivers, and hammers can be useful when it comes to performing maintenance and minor household repairs.

When you need to call the professionals, it helps to know you have options to pay for your emergency home repairs. So plan ahead for those potential issues now and keep your home in good shape to save yourself stress and costs later.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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